Stage 1 of the test
For the first minutes of your test, The Testing Officer will check you know the basics.
You’ll be asked to do a range of driving tasks on roads with speed limits up to 60 km/h. The tasks will include:
- Left and right turns, including at Give Way and Stop signs
- Reverse parallel park (or a three-point turn)
- Changing lanes on a multi-lane road (if there is a multi-lane on your test route)
While you're driving, the Testing Officer will be checking how well you’re doing the following core skills:
- Checking around you
- Choosing gaps in traffic
- Speed choice
- Following distance
- Road position
At the end of Stage 1, the Testing Officer will ask you to pull over so they can mark this part of the test. They’ll check whether you’ve done well enough to carry on to Stage 2 of the test.
This is the only website you should use for booking New Zealand practical driving tests.
Here's all the information you need to prepare for your practical driving test, and things you need to do on the day of your test.
Practical tests assess your driving
The practical driving tests are designed to assess your ability to apply your knowledge of road rules and safe driving practices.
Get lots of practise (we recommend at least hours if you have a learner licence) before you sit a practical test.
Car (class 1) driver licence tests
The test is 60 minutes long and includes 45 minutes of drive time. The remaining 15 minutes is used to check the safety of the vehicle prior to driving and to provide feedback.
Test applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they have basic driving skills, can recognise and respond to a range of common road hazards and can drive safely in higher speed zones.
The full licence test is 30 minutes long and includes 20 minutes of driving.
Test applicants will be expected to be able to apply appropriate hazard and detection responses to all assessable tasks without explanation of what is required by the testing officer, demonstrate good driving skills in more complex situations and maintain safe driving behaviours across a wide variety of traffic situations and road conditions.
Read the guides
These booklets provide detailed information about the Class 1 (car) driver licence tests. They should not take the place of well-structured and comprehensive lesson plans together with high levels of supervised driving experience in a broad range of driving situations.
Restricted licence test guide [PDF, MB]
Full licence test guide [PDF, MB]
Watch our Drive videos for more helpful information about the driver licence tests.
Motorcycle (class 6) practical licence tests
To get your motorcycle restricted licence you will need to either successfully complete the 60 minute practical restricted test or present a CBTA 6R certificate.
To apply for your class 6 full licence you will need to either successfully complete the 30 minute practical full test or present a CBTA 6F certificate.
Find out how to get your motorcycle licence
Competency-based training and assessment (CBTA)
If you plan to sit your motorcycle restricted licence test, make sure you have plenty of practice (including at least hours on your learner licence) to prepare for the test.
Be on time
The test can’t be rushed. If you’re late, your test will be cancelled. You’ll have to rebook and pay another test fee.
If you book online, allow extra time
If you book online, you must allow an extra 30 minutes before your test, or visit a driver licensing agent before the day of your test, to complete the application requirements (eg having your photo taken and eyesight checked).
Check what time the agent opens
Check what time the licensing agent opens on the day of your test. If your test is early in the morning and the agent is not open you will not be able to complete the requirements listed above. This means you will need to visit an agent on a day prior to your test.
Check the test location
Not all test sites have driver licensing agents. This means that if your test is booked at a testing-only site, you will need to visit a driver licensing agent at another location to complete the application requirements before your new licence can be issued.
See what the test fee would be if your test is cancelled
Find a driver licensing agent in your area
Make sure you have your driver licence
Make sure that your photo driver licence is current and that you have it with you. If you received a two-year extension to your learner or restricted licence, you should note there are particular requirements about the licence you show the testing officer before the test.
Driver licence extension requirements
If you arrive for the test and your licence isn’t current or you don’t have it with you, you won’t be able to sit the test. You’ll need to rebook and pay another test fee.
See what the test fee would be if your test is cancelled
Your vehicle will be checked before the test
The testing officer will look over your vehicle before the test to ensure it is roadworthy.
They’ll check things like the tyres, indicators and brakelights.
They’ll also make sure your vehicle has a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF), a valid licence label, and a road user charges (RUC) licence if required.
If your vehicle isn’t roadworthy, you won’t be able to take the test (even if it has a current WoF or CoF). You’ll need to rebook and pay another test fee.
Vehicles displaying trade plates or being driven on a space-saver tyre cannot be used to sit a practical driving test.
See the list of things that will be checked before your test can go ahead
You can take a support person if you need to
When you sit a practical driving test you can choose to have a support person with you during the test.
Information you need to know if you want to take a support person
The testing officer may use a video camera
The testing officer may attach a small video camera to the front windscreen at the beginning of your practical test.
The camera records the test and enables the testing officer’s performance to be audited. It also assists in investigating complaints where the test result is disputed.
If you do not want your test to be recorded, please let the testing officer know.
Changing or cancelling your test
If you want to change or cancel your test time, you may have to pay another fee. How much that fee is depends on how far in advance you’re changing the test.
Find out how much you will need to pay to change your test
Use this checklist to make sure you have everything ready
Check the items on this list to make sure you have it all ready
Prepare for your Restricted Licence test in four easy steps
1. Get a driving coach
You must have a driver with a full licence (for a minimum of two years) in the car with you at all times while you are driving on a learner licence. When selecting your coach, pick someone who will be supportive and help you learn.
Drive has resources for coaches who are teaching or are going to teach learner drivers. Let your coach know about these as it will help both of you get the best out of the experience.
2. Practice for your test
There is no absolute rule about how many hours of driving practice you should have done before you are ready to sit your test. Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) recommends around hours, but depending on how your skills have progressed you and/or your coach may feel that you need slightly longer.
In addition to using your coach it is a good idea to book in a few lessons with a driving instructor. Using a driving instructor while preparing for your test can increase your likelihood of passing.
There are some great resources available to help you to develop your practical driving skills. Drive is a free website for young drivers that has video driving lessons and an insider guide to help you pass your restricted test.
While you are on your Learner Licence there a few rules to be aware of:
- You are legally required to have a driver with a Full Licence in the car with you at all times (your coach)
- You must display ‘L’ plates on the front and rear of your car at all times
- You may only carry passengers if your accompanying coach agrees
- Your coach is responsible for everyone in the vehicle, and for what happens when you’re driving, so they must be fully awake, fully attentive and sober
How do I know when I am ready to book my test?
You should be ready to take the test when you can confidently:
- Reverse parallel park (in no more than four movements, forward and back) or do a three point turn within two minutes
- Change lanes safely at high speed (70km/hr or greater) while signalling correctly and performing mirror and head checks
- Turn right crossing two lanes of incoming traffic, including choosing a safe gap, moving to the correct lane, and positioning the car correctly within the lane throughout the turn
- Drive in traffic without stalling
- Drive at an appropriate speed at all times. This means never going over the speed limit and not driving too slowly (i.e. 10km/h or more below the speed limit) when it’s safe to drive at the speed limit
3. Apply to sit your practical test
You can make a booking for your practical test:
- At one of our driver licensing branches or at the premises of any other authorised driver licensing agent.
- Online at NZ Transport Agency’s website
Before your test, you must also come to one of our driver licensing branches to do the following:
- Fill out the application form (if you haven’t already)
- Complete an eyesight screening check or present your eyesight certificate
- Have your photo taken and sign your licence
- Book a time to do your practical test (if you haven’t done so already)
- Pay for your test (if you haven’t done so already). View current costs
What you need to bring with you:
- Your photographic Learners Licence or, if you are on a Temporary Licence, you will need to bring your current New Zealand passport or two other approved forms of identification
- A medical certificate (if required)
- The filled out application form (DL1) – you can do this ahead of time
- Any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear (if applicable)
4. Sit your test
The Restricted Licence practical driving test takes about an hour. This time includes checking your car at the beginning and receiving feedback at the end. Before you arrive to sit the test, make sure you have done everything on our pre-test checklist.
The testing officer’s feedback will include whether you have passed and an explanation of any errors made. This means that you know what to look out for when preparing for your Full Licence test.
Driver test restricted license
.Drive: Immediate Fail Errors in the restricted and full licence tests
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